Vincent Gallo's persona is anything but brightly colored and melodic. In fact, it's mostly brooding, insane, and tense. He's lathered the hate on for who knows how many fellow actors and actresses, journalists, websites, and other bystanders he's come in contact with. He's redefined crude by offering to sell his sperm to light-complexioned people (the blonde and blue-eyed would even get a discount!). Nevertheless, some of his art can be undeniably and irresistibly sweet and melodic.
His CD "When" is an exercise in gentle soft sounds, and in the cinematic realm, there's nothing that compares to the Christina Ricci bowling alley dance scene in Buffalo 66. The lights dim, King Crimson's "Moonchild" purrs, and a spotlighted Ricci taps in time to the music. Sure, I'm a Crimson fan and I have a thing for under-saturated colors, but the gem of this scene lies in that wistful look in Ricci's eyes, as she's illuminated by the spotlight but still seemingly unnoticed. A whole movie plays out in one and a half minutes, and as much as I love the quirk that comes before and after this scene, I can't help but want more of these melodic moments.
Seeing nothing else of Gallo's work, one might tap him for the perfect person to overwhelm us with whimsy or dip into the land of fairy tales -- yet it's all housed in one of the most irascible names on the outskirts of Hollywood.
With an entire absence of color, Gallo can be seen this week in Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro.